Yesterday's post about Henri IV
, had a reference to one of the building projects in Paris undertaken by Henri, Place des Vosges
. Louis la Vache finds Place des Vosges
to be one of the most delightful spots in Paris, so today he will take you for a visit there.
Paris' original attempt at urban planning, the Place des Vosges
is now its oldest square. The nicely symmetrical square with its ground floor arcade, consists of 39 houses - each made of red brick with stone facings. Construction began in 1605 and was completed in 1612, two years after Henri IV
This plan view shows the symmetry of Place des Vosges.
Place des Vosges
is located on the boundary of 3 ème
and 4 ème arrondissements
in the heart of the somewhat upscale marais
, "the swamp," which is what the land under it originally was. Many nice restaurants and specialty stores are in the neighborhood. Not far away just to the east is Place de la Bastille
. The park in the center of the square is a favorite lunchtime oasis of quiet and tranquility for Parisians seeking to get away from the bustle of the surrounding streets.
The fountain in the park in the center of the square,
Place des Vosges.
The project, originally named the Place Royale
, probably was designed by Baptiste du Cerceau. Le pavillion du roi et le pavillion de la reine
were the center south and north gateways respectively.
Street-level arcade, Place des Vosges.
The square acquired its present name in 1799 when the Département des Vosges
, near the southwestern German border, was the first to pay its taxes associated with particular military campaigns of that time.
Several of its houses have their own particular histories, and among these are the Hôtel de Chaulnes
(number 9), the Academy of Architecture; the Hôtel de la Rivière
(number 14) whose ceilings by Lebrun are now in the Musée Carnavalet
; number 1 bis where the famous lady of letters, Madame de Sévigné
was born; number 11 occupied from 1639-1648 by the courtesan Marion Delorme
; number 21 where Cardinal Richelieu
, Prime Minister to Louis XIII
, lived from 1615 - 1627, and number 6, occupied in the 19ème siècle
by Victor Hugo
, author of "The Hunchback of Nôtre Dame" and "Les Misérables"
is now a museum: Maison de Victor Hugo
. Hugo also wrote a play
about the one-time occupant of number 11, Marion Delorme. The play was banned for "immorality."
What a rich intertwining of history is here at Place des Vosges
Window detail, Place des Vosges.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Richelieu and Mazarin
Madame de Sevigne: A Life and Letters